Definition of connotation
- the connotations of comfort that surrounded that old chair
- … that abuse of logic which consists in moving counters about as if they were known entities with a fixed connotation.
- —William Ralph Inge
a word with negative connotations
For many people, the word “fat” has negative connotations.
The word “childlike” has connotations of innocence.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'connotation.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Connotation and denotation are easily confused, and the fact that neither word is particularly common in everyday use makes it difficult for many people to get a firm grip on the difference between them. While each of these two words has several possible meanings, they are notably distinct from each other in all senses. Denotation is concerned with explicit meaning, and connotation tends to be concerned with implicit meaning. The word home, for instance, has a denotation of “the place (such as a house or apartment) where a person lives,” but it may additionally have many connotations (such as “warmth,” “security,” or “childhood”) for some people.
: an idea or quality that a word makes you think about in addition to its meaning
What made you want to look up connotation? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).
Confusing Words—A Quiz